Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Side Job

I’m an American and as such it is my dutiful position to try to find easy ways to make money. At least easy ways for me, that is. And I found something!

It works with my schedule, doesn’t take away from family time, and seems to be a fairly good way to make some extra money and have fun.


Ahhh, America, I love the opportunities you represent and present!

So what is this fabulous “Job” I described?



Yep! And on Ebay no less. Now some reading this just shut down and started scanning the rest of this article. I know that this can be a sore spot for some who have been burnt, and a boring spot for others who just don’t have the interest.


I can say I was about 50/50! Until I started reading blogs of people who resale for a lot of money…like they buy a 40 cent book and resell it for $400! Well, with no visions of quite doing that well I headed to the local thrift stores to see what they held, and to see how nice our local thrift stores are!


That first day I found “The Box” it was a very sturdy, though not too eye catching box with a horse on it and the name “Jan Barboglio” stamped on the rump of the horse. I picked it up. Put it back, then went back for a 2nd, then 3rd look. What if this was worth something? It was a whoppin’ $4 and wasn’t something I would exactly re-gift!


Finally I decided to purchase it. I came home and looked up the name Jan Barboglio only to find out she makes trashcans that sell for $300! But I couldn’t find a market or a buyer for this item, which I could find its match no where. Did that make it more valuable? I wasn’t sure. After email and waiting I started to just want my $4 back. Enter Ebay. I posted it for $.99 with $10 Shipping. It got up to $6. Yay! I had made money on it. It went up to $10! Wow! A real winner! It went up to $60 and I was instantly hooked. My $4 box turned out a nice little investment.

Then I discovered It is a blog that two ladies are keeping up with about how they resale on craigslist and on ebay. They purchase clothing for 99 cents and resale it on ebay. So I found out the thrift store I had visited had a .99 cent clothing day and got to work. I wrote down all the brands that where selling by mydeartrash ladies and took a few more hints from them, like Petites don’t sell well, and started making money.

That led to reselling things in our home that we didn’t need. A cell phone that I just like my old one better but was only 15 days old sold for $100 I got it from Sprint for free!!


A laptop that’s monitor didn’t work sold for $100 on Ebay while I local guy offered me $15 for it! My husband and I went to an auction and found an old Apple computer for $4 and sold it for $40 on Ebay. It had been in a barn for about 12 years and had the mud dabber's nest to prove it! We cleaned it up and made a buck.

Now, I’m by far not an American picker, and I have gotten burnt a time or two, but I try to stick with small investments, such as $4 or reselling things in my house, also some small investments turn up large items.


I found this bed for $15 complete with a desk top that didn’t work with the bed and a set of bed rails which didn’t go with the bed either. I purchased them during 1/2 price day at a thrift store & brought the pieces home, set them up and thought, “What am I going to do with all this extra stuff?”

Enter Craigslist!

I sold the bed rails for $15 the next day. The desk topper I gave away after finding no interest. It was picked up that day, after about 5 people saying they could be there by the end of the day! The bed I posted for about 4 months and finally decided it must be jinks (ok, not really) after a half dozen people said they wanted to see it/come by/ or buy it and no one showed. I finally decided I would keep it and stopped posting it. However I didn’t delete it just to see what would happen. I sold it about 1 month later for $70. Shear profit plus I used in in our guest room during that time…rent free! Lol!

During this winter I took a break from miscellaneous sales and began what I could call an attempt at business, handkerchief gal style and have been fairly successful at that. I will post next about what I sell now.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Getting more organized: Receipt holder

Today my goal was to tackle the laundry room. I started the tackle but in mid-dive I was interrupted by a visitor at my door. A wonderful interruption, I must say, and one that lead to many other interruptions and no clean laundry room. But as soon as my 1 and 3 year old hit the sack I’m finishing that tackle (so to speak)!

laundry room

No, that’s not my laundry room. However one that size would be amazing! I think that is bigger than my kid’s room! It is way less embarrassing showing someone else’s dirty rooms then my own!

However it is tax time at our house and that has made me very aware that I need to have a better system(ok maybe just any kind of system) for my receipts. And what better way than to make it cute?

So I took a (Free) photo envelope made of heavy duty cardstock and some paper from Michael’s I got for free too (another story) & some glue (ok, I had it on hand but I did pay for it.) and made the start of a filing system for my receipts. Here is how you do it:


First I took apart the envelope.


Then I traced the now flat envelope onto the back of my printed paper and cut it out.


Then I simply glued the envelope to the paper.


And walla! Almost done!



Here it is! A very sturdy way to file my receipts. I can make more of them and coordinate them by color. Now for a label.



I used a label I had printed out that is free on Cathe Holden’s site here and here.

Trust me. Cathe’s is a valuable resource and a great way to spend a day looking through all that she has done!

She also has another idea for receipt holder here.

Ok! Off to put the kids to bed and finish that tackle! Wish me luck!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bleaching: today’s chore


Even though by my title I sound like I started spraying everything with disinfecting bleach I didn’t. Don’t worry. No crazy anti-germ person here. Just a person who is striving for a clean house.


In my real simple books I borrowed from the library I discovered how handy bleach can be from everything to disinfection to just old fashion cleaning!


Today I cleaned my sink. I know, it sounds like a simple task but I used a method found that is what I consider the ultimate cleaning job on your sink!


Here are the step by step instructions:


  1. Take all the dishes out of the sink.
  2. Run some very hot water into the sink. Fill to the rim. Only do one side at a time. Then, pour a cup of household bleach into the hot water. Let it sit for 1 hour. Now, pull the plug with a pair of tongs. If you don't have tongs, then scoop some of the water out of the sink into the other sink and use your hand to pull the plug (wear gloves and don't get the bleach-water on your clothes).
  3. Rinse your sink well.
  4. Use some cleanser (Comet, Ajax, or Baking Soda) and scrub your sink. Ensure you rinse ALL of the cleanser from the sink.
  5. Take a sharp edge and clean around the rim of the sink, just like you would clean dirt out from under your fingernails.
  6. Clean around the faucets too. You may need an old toothbrush or dental floss.
  7. Now, get out your window cleaner, I use Windex, and give it a good shine.
  8. If you still don't like the way it looks, then you could try some car wax. Just know in your heart that you have cleaned it very well now and it doesn't have to be perfect. Our perfectionism is what got us in this situation in the first place.
  9. Every time you run water in your sink, take your clean dishtowel and dry it out (I lay out a clean one, every night with my before bedtime routine). Before you know it, you will be doing this every time you leave your kitchen. The rest of the family will too. No more water spots. You will have a clean and shiny sink.

While letting my sinks soak (I have two in the kitchen) I used water and bleach on the floors, and I used it on my table, and all the dinning room chairs and stools. I had to be sure to rinse it off or it left streaks, never a good thing.gal3-0904-mop-bucket_300

I never thought about the need to clean dinning chairs weekly until I saw this downloadable pages of how a fellow blogger does her house work: Click here to see her daily tasks and her weekly tasks here. It was really neat to see how organized someone was about their week. Oh, and the fact that she has children as well was encouraging!

Well, there was a bit of my day, as well as picking up and laundry and dishes. Always something to do around here, and always wonderful to stay home the whole day with no errands to run!



Sunday, February 13, 2011

Getting more organized, Day by Day…

I got a bit worried when I was talking to a friend who is older than me who was saying how it amazes her how she thinks that if she could just get organized enough everything would stay organized. She was disappointed to find this wasn’t the case.

I was disappointed to find that it wasn’t the case for her either. But I still hope that it will be the case for me. There HAS to be a system out there that can keep everything neat. To that end I visited the library this week.


Yes, can you tell I’ve been reading Real Simple?

Ok, so I find their pictures to be rather unrealistic but not nearly as bad as other magazines I have been reading. Besides, each of these books are worth over $20 so I was thrilled to borrow them from the library!

So here was my 1st big project:


Yes, it is very scary, I know.

And no, this is not my junk drawer! This is my kitchen bathroom drawer.

Well, after a run to the thrift store, a couple of 49cent purchases, some paper that I got out of a dumpster (yes, I do that too!) and a touch of sewing. This is what I ended up with!


Doesn’t that just make you sigh in relief!!!?? Ahh, so much better. yes, I took some things out. I threw away a few and discovered that I have multiples of others, like toothpaste! I thought we were almost out. Wrong! Try about 5 bottles that are unopened! Good grief! I can’t live like this. So that discovery lead to more organization with a touch more sewing:


This is in my over-the-john cabinet.

I’m not crazy about the unorganized stacking, more like piling, but it will work for now. I sewed the labels on so I can remove it and use the bags for something else in the future.

Her is our medicine cabinet now:


You can imagine how this looked before. NOT GOOD. Now it all fits in the tub! Yay!

Why the bright green cloth, you might ask, well, it is what I had on hand, well, that or two different colors of pink. Yea, I go with green.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The start of A Niche To Find by Handkerchief Gal

I had no intention of ever blogging again…well, maybe when I was old and had no kids at home and was a loss at what to do with my life. Then I could become one of the many mournful people online, hoping to find soul-mates somewhere in cyberspace.

My experience with blogging had been diverse in the last year. One blog I started was really an online recipe box. Ready at my fingertips whether I was in Texas or Michigan. It was shared with very few people and even then was not cared about too much because it was a list of my recipe do’s and would-like-to-do’s.


My next blog was on a quest to improve my photography and apply my life to the pages of the infinite society that was never ending online. Oh, and brag about the fabulous deals I got! Needless to say this ended with disgust when I went world wide…er…added myself to some search engines and as a result got spammed out of existence! One gets tired of posting of yard work and getting offers for electronics…or

But then my friend JC McCairn (Yes, my blog name is Handkerchief Gal, hers is JC McCairn, hmmm, maybe we are beginning to be internet fiascos!) mentions she wanted to start a blog and that she wanted writers for it. After finding out what she had in mind…I decided it wasn’t my style at all. But the seed was planted, only to shoot up the next day when my two darlings were asleep and I had a house to clean. Yep. Here I am. Procrastinating. The blog is disastrous already.

However, my goal for this blog is not a messy house, it is an inspiration to finish projects and share them with you, or just myself, in an effort to inspire. Though for myself more than anyone else.

So grab a glass of ice tea, or hot chocolate, depending on what climate you live in and I hope you enjoy a few good reads, and get a more than a few good laughs out of my learning. (If not you can always just click away…)